February 18, 2016 at 9:35 am #96407KatParticipant
I would love help coping with work. I love the people I work with, have great management, but the job itself is the most monotonous I’ve ever had. I’m a cashier, I won’t be forever, in six months or so I’m going to pursue my dream of a tattooing apprenticeship somewhere and live with my loving fiance. However that doesn’t stop me from feeling overwhelmed, at least a few times a day I deal with abusive customers, who can be rude and who clearly look down on me. I know not to take it personally, their aggression is a product of their suffering, but that doesn’t mean I should be on the receiving end. That being said it’s not something I can walk away from. That on top of doing and saying the same 3 or 4 things everyday for 8 hours makes me feel sick inside. I am not challenged nor am I inspired. I understand it could be much worse, I am lucky to have many of the securities I have, but that knowledge doesn’t drive my sorrow away. I would love any advice on dealing with my current situation. Thank you very much for your input!February 18, 2016 at 10:07 am #96408AnonymousGuest
Ideas that come to mind:
1. While working, make it a point to observe and study the tattoos of customers, comment on their tattoos, ask questions about those, where they had those done, when, do they like it… you know the questions you care about. You can study an enormous number of tattoos as a cashier all day long… I often wonder about people with a tattoo for 20 years or so, if they regret them.
2. Imagine you are a robot doing a robot’s job (this is what it is, isn’t it?) Postpone being human for later, breaks and end of day.
I like #2. I think there is something there… as a robot you have no feelings, so nothing personal to take from rude customers. But do assert yourself with those! Do not submit to abuse. But other than asserting, robot you are, what do you think?
anitaFebruary 18, 2016 at 11:55 pm #96461ShellyParticipant
I know what you are going through!! I worked as a cashier/retail through college, and I felt the same way. Here is how I dealt:
– Everyday, I would tell myself “this is not forever. This is totally temporary. I am not a cashier, I just work as one.”
– Sometimes, I would pretend to be an actress. If I was getting bored, I would try and be really chipper to some people, or if there was something I wanted to work on (maybe like initiating convo, or trying to be assertive) I would practice on customers.
– As for the abuse, use your managers!!! I would always start with an apology on behalf of the store or ask what they would like me to do. When that isn’t good enough, I go straight to “would you like to speak with a manager?” We are not punching bags, and society doesn’t understand how much abuse retail workers go through on a daily. I quit a job once when I got a caller on the phone threaten to find me and kill me for not lowering his payment which was out of my control, and management did not support me. Not worth it!
Good luck!February 19, 2016 at 9:21 am #96488KatParticipant
Thank you Anita, thank you Shelly. The robot idea is interesting, but I’m not sure how I could disconnect like that. But it would be nice to detach myself sometimes. It’s interesting you pretended to act Shelly, not sure it that’s my cup of tea but I’m glad it worked for you! As far as using managers sometimes it’s just a rude person and it happens so fast there’s nothing to do about it, they are often people who just glare at you for making a mistake or say something mean quickly and move on like you don’t matter. It’s so incredibly busy where I work I don’t even catch the personal info of some of these people. I am thinking of quick responses I can make that show I won’t tolerate abuse and are mature so hopefully that will help.February 19, 2016 at 9:42 am #96491AnonymousGuest
How about placing a sign by your cash register, to be kind to the cashier or something like that? i don’t remember seeing such a sign. What if you suggested this to a manager? Word it right. And when a fast moving rude customer passes by you, you can point to the sign? That will be a quick pointing..
Still brainstorming here.
anitaFebruary 21, 2016 at 8:58 am #96646MichelleParticipant
One of my first ‘real’ jobs was as a cashier so I get where you are coming from for sure! For me – the trick has always been to remember I’m the one choosing to stay at the job – if I really need to I can choose to leave and accept the consequences/compromises that involves. That frees my mind up to figure out what I can get out of the job to help me towards my dreams in a positive way. I’m talking from years of experience here as someone who’s now considered a very able senior management figure in what many people would consider a great career. Yet I’ve always known ‘this isn’t me’ and have used each job to support achieving my own dreams, sometimes more knowingly than others for sure!
You’re one step ahead of a lot of people in knowing what dream you want to get after – why are you waiting? If it’s money, consider each dull day an investment to your freedom! Use the time at work to break down the steps to achieve your dream, plan out what you need to do and when – turning dreams into concrete steps has been my steadfast way to seeing them happen. Use the rude customers as practice for when you will one day own your own tattoo parlour!! Get advice on how to write a good business case for funding your future tattoo parlour whilst working with friendly financial knowledgeable people! If all else fails imagine the rude customers naked and you won’t be able to help but smile and make them wonder why 🙂
It’s actually amazing how many times what seems like irrelevant experiences make sense at later points in your life….hope the ideas help out – by now you are already that bit closer to your dream!